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The Procedure Of Tooth Whitening

Before doing the treatment, a dental check is necessary to verify the absence of caries, periodontal pathology or any other oral condition. Otherwise, the effects may be harmful. Also, it is convenient to perform a dental cleaning.

The dental whitening technique most used in the dentist’s office is the mixed one: with a clinical and a mobile phase, although in some cases it can be one or the other.

The clinical session lasts about 30 minutes. After protecting the perioral soft tissues, the patient is given a peroxide gel in the mouth. “The concentration of the peroxide and the time of exposure must be personalized in each case, explains Dr. Serrano de Haro.

With a cold light lamp, the effect of the exposure is enhanced by shortening the time. “We have neglected -explains the dentist- the use of ultraviolet lights that were harmful to skin and mucosa and nowadays we work with modern lamps of cold light, LED type, that work at the optimal wavelengths for the release of molecules of oxygen.”

The second phase continues at home with the application of the whitening gel using splints for several hours a day over a few days, depending on the case.

“After the clinical session, a two- or three-tone reduction is achieved, something that is comforting for the patient who perceives whitening as one of the few premium dental treatments because it does not require anesthesia and hardly causes discomfort,” she says.

The most common and temporary side effect is dentin hypersensitivity, which can also be controlled with desensitizing products prescribed by the dentist. In cases of intense sensitivity, it is pertinent to make a prior treatment with these desensitizers.

A professional tooth whitening has a long duration but requires maintenance once a year.

The Color Of The Tooth, A Starting Point

The tooth loses light, shine, and yellows over time. “Our diet is full of dyes and not only wine, coffee and cola drinks … .. but also most of the fruits or fresh foods are colored, and so much staining spoils the tooth”, adds Beatriz Serrano de Haro.

With the professional whitening treatment it is normal for the tooth to lose its dark color by clarifying 3 or 4 tones, but reaching up to 8 sounds, as some advertising promises, “is an outrage and something impossible,” emphasizes Óscar Castro.

That is why we must take into account the color of the tooth as a starting point and if its color is also due to circumstances such as the taking of tetracyclines, at a time when they were used as an antibiotic, and that dyed the tooth of the child and adolescent or the case of endodontics or because of fluorosis or excess fluoride.

“The degree of whiteness,” says the dentist, “that can be achieved is conditioned by the mineralization or texture of the enamel and also by the amount of secondary or tertiary dentine. Whitening acts by lowering the chroma of the tooth and increasing its luminosity and is conditioned by the tooth; it decides, neither the dentist nor the patient.

During the days when the whitening lasts, the patient should avoid dark foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine, cola drinks, cocoa, squid ink … and reds like watermelon, strawberries, beet, pomegranate..

According to Beatriz Serrano de Haro, “we are in favor of avoiding the sacrifice of restrictive diets (we have had patients who drink fluids with a straw) and we are committed to performing professional maintenance of bleaching once a year.”